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'Star Wars' vs 'Game of Thrones': the ultimate showdown

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Mike Rampton
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Star Wars and Game of Thrones are two of the most massive entertainment juggernauts in the world, and the creative powers behind them are now joining forces, with GoT showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss lined up to make a series of films in the galaxy far far away.. Whatever results will undoubtedly be amazing, but which of them is best?

They’re both sweeping, epic stories with hundreds of characters, tales of bloodlines and prophecies, and also both ultimately silly entertaining creations that some people take vastly too seriously. They’re way more similar than they are different, and are both amazing, but which has the most amazingness and is most amazingnessest?

We’ve pitched them against each other to find out.

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Violence

Both are pretty violent - Star Wars literally has the word ‘Wars’ in it, right there in the title - but which is more so? On the Star Wars front you’ve got whole planets being blown up, enormous moon-sized weapons, giant snake monsters living in bins and what look a lot like Nazis trying to kill everyone. But on the other hand, there’s very little in the way of blood and occasionally characters die peacefully, almost beautifully.

Conversely, only one character in eight seasons of Game of Thrones has died a non-violent death, and he was about a hundred. Everyone else has been hideously slaughtered, brutally poisoned or violently exploded. We’ve seen slit throats, thumbed-out eyes, severed willies and more (stunt) people on fire than have ever been on fire at once before. It’s a world record, you know.

Point: Game of Thrones

Wise old mentor figures

What would any fantasy series be without a wizened old figure spouting nonsense in the woods? Both Star Wars and Thrones have fine examples of these, with the Three-Eyed Raven literally fusing with a weirwood tree over thousands of years, and Yoda pissing about on an all-woodlands planet barfing out weird-syntaxed life advice. Yoda’s more fun to do impressions of, though, and his lightsaber ability and don’t-give-a-shit attitude towards grammar just edges him.

Point: Star Wars

Value to the Irish tourist board

Massive, on both counts. Whether to see Winterfell or try to meet a real Porg, Ireland is doing pretty well in terms of tourists in silly costumes pratting about on landmarks.

Point: It’s a draw

Hairy, monosyllabic sidekicks

Hodor’s death in Thrones’ sixth season is one of the most heart-wrenchingly upsetting moments of the series, this big kind galoot being torn to shreds across time. Since he’s been gone, though, has he been that missed? It sounds fairly heartless, but he was basically replaced by a wheely chair. Chewbacca, on the other hand, is the best character in Star Wars, a great big growling monkey-dog with a laser crossbow. A competition of ‘best character to cuddle’ would end in a tie, but in outright bestness, the Wookiee wins it. Plus, ‘Hodor’ is two syllables.

Point: Star Wars

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Incest

George Lucas often claims the Star Wars saga was fully planned from the get-go - if so, ew dude, gross, Luke and Leia have a proper snog in Empire before Jedi reveals that they’re fraternal twins. However, producer Gary Kurtz says a different character was initially going to be Luke’s sister, and the twin revelation was written later. Either way, it’s an odd moment.

The first episode of Thrones, however, features Cersei and Jaime Lannister, two characters who very much know they’re brother and sister, having sex up a tower. It’s not a one-off, either - it’s an ongoing thing, with Jaime the father of Cersei’s children. One villainous character, Craster, basically has an incest farm, ‘marrying’ his daughters and their daughters in turn, sacrificing any sons that are born into this nasty-ass system to White Walkers. More innocently, slightly, the seventh season ended with a tryst between Jon Snow and Danaerys Targaryen, two characters that don’t know they’re aunt and nephew.

Point: Game of Thrones

Ways the main dude’s uncle snuffs it

Uncle Owen from Star Wars gets unceremoniously murdered, while Jon Snow’s Uncle Benjen gets stabbed by White Walkers, saved with dragonglass by the Children of the Forest and eventually sacrifices himself to save his nephew while whirling a big fucking flaming mace around his head like a fucking amazing maniac.

Point: Game of Thrones

Ass-kicking princesses

This is a tough one, as Leia and Daenerys have a lot in common:

  • Maybe slightly naive/spoiled at the beginning but then get badass
  • Enslaved at some point by big sods
  • Become military leaders inspiring a band of rebels
  • Cool hairdos
  • Sometimes spend time with big lizard things
  • Very easy to spell their names wrong
  • Can understand languages that the people watching the telly can’t

Leia has to win it though - she came first, she never burned anyone to death to try to prove a point, and that Mary Poppins bit in the new film was cool, whatever people say.

Point: Star Wars

Insults

When Princess Leia is really, really angry at Han Solo, she says: “Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” That’s fun, and gave the band that did the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme tune their name, but it’s no “You’re shit at dying”, is it? In Game of Thrones, the most casual of conversations is peppered with more F-bombs, C-words and general nastiness than any other show in history - even Dame Diana Rigg dropped the C-bomb. And come on, ‘nerf herder’ can’t even hold a candle to “I’ll tell you what doesn’t scare me. Bald cocksuckers like you. You think you’re fooling anyone with that topknot? Bald cunt.”

Point: Game of Thrones

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Spaceships

No contest. There are fuck-all spaceships in Westeros.

Point: Star Wars

Casting of 1990s British comedy icons

Game of Thrones’ pissed-up priest Thoros of Myr was portrayed by Paul Kaye, the man behind Dennis Pennis. A foul-mouthed prank celebrity interviewer long before anyone else was doing it, Pennis would go to film premieres and ask rude, childish, surreal and incredibly funny questions of A-listers. He was amazing, and proves the best advice anyone wishing to get noticed in the film industry ever needs. But. The latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, boasts the one and only Ade Edmondson in its cast. Vyvyan Bastard from The Young Ones, Eddie Hitler from Bottom, Eddie Catflap from Filthy, Rich and Catflap, Sir Adrian Dangerous from The Dangerous Brothers and Vim Fuego from Bad News. Plus he won Celebrity Masterchef once.

Point: Star Wars

Catchphrases

Loads of famous Star Wars lines have entered the cultural lexicon. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” is one of the most iconic opening lines in history, Barack Obama once compared STEM education to the Force, and people who’ve never seen any of the films at least know some mangled or paraphrased form of: 

  • May the Force with with you
  • Luke, I am your father
  • These aren’t the droids you’re looking for
  • Do or do not, there is no try

Game of Thrones can only really offer the increased popularity of the C-word in America in competition. Like, sometimes you’ll see a really sweaty man in a T-shirt that says “I am the god of tits and wine”, but only in branches of Forbidden Planet, and that sweaty man is best left alone.

Point: Star Wars

Magnificently bad, sub-panto accents

Accents in the Star Wars universe used to be fairly consistent - with a few key exceptions, goodies sounded American and baddies sounded British. There was definitely an Australian baddie on the Death Star in The Force Awakens, though. It’s a shame he wasn’t training with Yoda instead - there could have been a bit where Yoda told him “Didgeridoo or didgeridoo not, there is no try”, and at least four people in the cinema would have laughed.

There are some stinkers in Westeros, mainly due to the impressively international nature of the cast and production. There are a few sets of siblings that make no sense at all - the Lannisters are played by an English woman, a Danish man and an American man, while the Sand Snakes are from America, England and New Zealand. In the first few seasons, Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau somehow frequently manage to change accent mid-word. But Aiden Gillen, as Littlefinger, was responsible for the most outrageous accent in TV history, an ever-morphing mixture of Cornish pirate, Irish priest, a magician performing on a ferry and an obscene phone caller.

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Point: Game of Thrones

Use of Gwendoline Christie

As Brienne of Tarth, Christie provides GoT with one of its greatest and most beloved characters, a perpetually conflicted warrior, naive yet badass, fearsome yet vulnerable. She’s amazing in the role. As Captain Phasma, though, she’s given nothing to do and is just shiny and rubbish. She gets beaten every time she does anything, and it really feels like the character just exists to sell toys. Really nice armour and a 100% getting-her-ass-kicked record.

Point: Game of Thrones

Methods of long-distance communication

Ravens are pretty rubbish as a form of long-distance communication, but they’re all they have in Westeros. Star Wars has cool 3D holograms as well as Skype-like video calls, both of which are better because they don’t involve reading.

Point: Star Wars

Silly names

There’s a character in Game of Thrones called Shagga, and a droid in Star Wars called Bollux. It’s tight.

Point: It’s a draw

Death-defying dickheads

The Mountain went from being a giant thug of a bastard to a giant thug of an undead bastard, a rotting, zombified, mindless killer (as played by the strongest man in the world). Darth Vader, though, has to be the most-imitated character in film history. Sure, he’s a big weenie in the prequels (although, confusingly for the series as a whole, he’s the hero of them, which must make his “I am a dick now, and a monster” turn really surprising for anyone watching the films in order for the first time), but as his helmeted, rebuilt, armoured self, is the best villain in movie history. He’s been fully dead for two films now and still casts a shadow over proceedings - that’s how unkillable he is.

Point: Star Wars

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Wacky creatures

Game of Thrones has dragons in it, magnificent, big, fiery, flying, fearsome dragons. And giants. But Star Wars has Porgs, Taun-tauns, whatever Yoda is, Wookiees, Ewoks, Jawas, the most species-diverse band in the universe, droids, occasionally offensive-sounding reptile things that seem like they might be based on ethnic stereotypes, fucking loads mate.

Point: Star Wars

Badass weaponry

Lightsabers are cool. Obviously lightsabers are cool. But if you really think about it, are they? Is a sword made out of light as good as a sword made out of sword? Would you rather get stabbed or have a torch shone at you? Are lightsabers, actually, rubbish? Swords! Swords are good! They make better noises (clang is better than whoosh), look good all the time rather than just in combat, and Game of Thrones is so committed to them that not only do loads of them have names, there’s also a really important chair made of loads of ‘em. Where’s Star Wars’ lightsaber chair?

Point: Game of Thrones

Height differences in double-acts that travel large distances

Arya and the Hound’s relationship might be impressive in its complex mixture of loathing and begrudging affection, but there’s less than a foot and a half between them. Maisie Williams is 1.55m tall, while Rory McCann is a towering 1.98m - that’s 43cm of important difference between them. At 1.75m tall, though, C-3PO has a cool 66cm on R2-D2.

Point: Star Wars

Non-awfulness of fans

There has, as yet, been no campaign to re-edit Game of Thrones to remove women from it, a claim that sadly not all entertainment franchises can make.

Point: Game of Thrones

Massive ginger beards

Star Wars just isn’t pulling its weight in this category. There’s a ginger man playing Hitler in the new ones, and he’s quite good, but he’s no Tormund Giantsbane

Point: Game of Thrones

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Sexy swaggery cowboy men

Considering how much swordplay is in Game of Thrones, you’d think there’d be more swashbuckling. But no, due to either a warm clothes thing or a vaguely realistic brutal violence thing, there’s very little swagger to the heroes of Westeros. Oberyn Martell and Syrio Forel are the only exceptions really, flamboyant fighters with a bit of a swing in their step, and look how it worked out for them (they are both dead). Out of Star Wars’ two sexy cowboy men though, Han Solo and Poe Dameron, one is still alive, so it’s advantage space.

Point: Star Wars

A mastermind that looks like a train driver

George Lucas is lot of things, but he doesn’t look like a train driver. Nowhere near as much as George R.R. Martin, anyway, who looks at all times like he should be wiping soot off his face with a neckerchief as he readies his locomotive to head down to the gulch.

Point: Game of Thrones

People getting their arses out

There are rumours of a deleted scene in Return of the Jedi where you see Darth Vader’s bum when he climbs out of a swimming pool, but until they are substantiated, it’s very much an arse-in cinematic universe. Game of Thrones, though, is Arse-Out City.

Point: Game of Thrones

FINAL SCORE: 12-12!

TIEBREAKER: Which one is actually better, though?

It’s a dead tie after 24 rounds, leading us to the million-dollar question, which is actually better? It’s Game of Thrones, isn’t it? It’s just better. It’s just, like, more good.

Point: Game of Thrones

Results

Twelve points to Game of Thrones, twelve to Star Wars, with two drawn rounds that made the wholly objective tiebreaker necessary. It could have gone either way, but you can’t argue with science: Game of Thrones is officially, measurably, objectively, scientifically better than Star Wars.

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Mike Rampton

Mike Rampton

Mike Rampton is extraordinarily old, like some sort of giant mountain.

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